steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

If I had that kind of money...

... I wouldn't spend $140,000,000 on a Klimt, $104,000,000 on a Picasso, or even $60,000,000 on a Cezanne. Not because I'm stingy or hate art, but because I have another use for the cash, one that used to be common amongst Very Rich People but has fallen into inexplicable disuse. Even at today's low interest rates, the income from that kind of sum would be ample for my purposes.

What I'd really like is to employ my own small chamber orchestra - or, if money were really tight, a consort of viols. Then, whenever I felt melancholy or had friends round for dinner I could make like Duke Orsino, clap my hands and cry "Music, ho!" And, either in a corner of the orangery or possibly from behind a Coromandel screen, the strains of Dowland or Gibbons would well up, bringing tears of pleasure to all who heard. The pictures on my walls might be reproductions, but the music would be the real thing, and different every time.

Is this not an enchanting vision? It was common enough in the Renaissance, and there are plenty of people who could afford it today. But who does? Unlike a dusty canvas sitting (like as not) in a bank vault, it would give continuing employment to jobbing musicians, and allow me to become the centre of a salon like the patrons of old, whether or not I had any talent myself. Alas, musicians, unlike old masters, do not appreciate with age, and I fear that most rich people's love of art is more than a little tainted with a love of investment potential - but I say, come on Charles Saatchi, pull your finger out! Be a good investor and diversify your portfolio! Give the other muses a chance to shine! (And by the way, if you want any children's stories for your collection, PM me.)

Tags: maunderings
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